Haiti Day 5: Rain, Swimming Holes and Work Crews

Location: Marbial, Haiti

Population: Local; 5,000, Area; 15,000

Weather: Rainy, Cloudy, Humid with little sun

Region: Mountainous

Access: Hiking, Walking and to carry heavier goods like building materials, medicine and farming equipment – Donkeys.

Our day today started with rain pounding on our steel roofs. It rained all night so we felt like we were back in BC. I awoke at 6am and we had breakfast as a group at 7:15am. We had a great breakfast that included quiche and porridge. This was all homemade and very good. Everyone was moving slower as some were sore and all of us were tired of the tropical warm rain that made our mountainous hikes for dinner and to the school treacherous and dirty as this mud would stick to you like clay.

Our school project was going well and we were pouring our breams and posts around the block walls. We had a steel Rebar crew led by ‘Smokey’ Jeff Foster, a concrete block crew led by “Viking’ Kristian and a truss crew led by Dan and Kyle.  Our social crew was finishing school benches and giving candy to our helpers.

For lunch we had leftover goat, quiche, and macaroni – the food was all amazing and fresh. By this point, Jeramy was starting to feel better so at around 3 pm I went up the mountain to bring him down to the river so he could bathe, cool off and enjoy a good swim.  The hike from our bunkhouse accommodations to the river and back was long even with full energy. Jeramy is so tough and I am so glad he was feeling better at this point from Heat Stroke. He was awesome to have along and many thanks to all the care the ladies gave him.

We finished the workday with a great swim in the bathing hole at the river as a group. The river was swift-moving and 12” higher than the day before from all the rain, but it was warm and it felt like a luxury to us all at the end of each day.

The river is the lifeline of the Haitian people in the mountains. In the morning a few of us would get up and climb to the top of our mountain and look around in the valley to watch the activity of the people throughout the hills. Farmers were all over the hillside, kids dressed up going to school, women going to the river to wash clothes and get water. This was an amazing view and from here you can see the world stayed the same in the hills since man came to Haiti in the 1500’s.

That evening was filled with Q & A’s with our host Daniel, a wonderful God loving man who loves his people and giving back to others. Their ministry is very real and filled with love and selflessness. I would like to thank our entire team for being wonderful, caring individuals.

May God bless all of you.

This update by John Tilstra.